Paolo Sorrentino has been working in film since he was 28 years old, when the first movie he wrote “The Dust of Naples” was released. But when he turned 50, he decided to turn to a story he hadn’t told before on film: his life growing up in Naples as a child, and the death of his parents when he was 16-years-old.

“I thought that it was the right moment in order to do this movie,” Sorrentino said, during the Variety Streaming Room presented by Netflix, about his film “The Hand of God.”

Sorrentino discussed “The Hand of God,” which is currently nominated for best international feature film at the Academy Awards, with Variety deputy awards and features editor Jenelle Riley. During the panel, Sorrentino, a previous Oscar winner for his film “The Great Beauty,” talked about his process writing films, casting “The Hand of God” and recreating the Naples of his memory.

Said Sorrentino, “I started to think after 50, that it was a natural development of the things to do, less movies than I would use to do in the past. And so maybe making less movies, I had the need to choose the most important things that I would love to tell and this movie for personal reasons, because it’s my story, it was the first on the list of the movies to do.”

When asked about how the reaction to the film has differed between countries, Sorrentino said he believes the film has a simplicity that allows it to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries.

“I think that this is a simple movie, about simple feelings that everybody can feel in this life,” Sorrentino said. “Above all if somebody had a loss of dear people and in that case it’s very simple to empathize with the movie. So, no, I have to say that the reactions that I was looking for about laughing or about crying are more or less the same everywhere. Yeah. I don’t see too many differences between different audiences in different countries.”

“The Hand of God” is now streaming on Netflix. Watch the full conversation above.